Why Don't You Blog About It?

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The Furlough Project

So! Welcome back and all that.

Turns out having a baby kind of changes your definition of free time or “me time”. Everything that was not “baby” or “keeping up the house” turned into “sleep”, so yeah. It’s been a while.

Special thanks to our House of Representatives for giving me the least restful vacation ever, and yay! I have some time to dust off the old blog. Thought I’d take some bandwidth and show you all what I’ve been up to during the shutdown.

Day 1: Said goodbye to my office.


So many people tried “logging out” and filing “furlough” time cards at the same time that most of us couldn’t. Sigh.

Day 2: Brookfield Zoo time!


Eva enjoyed playing with her cousins at the zoo.

Day 3: IKEA trip


Eva loves her new table and chairs. I loved being able to actually put together something from IKEA without losing any pieces. Well, I found them eventually, anyway.

Day 4: Dandelions


Eva totally understood the concept while I held the flower, but once she was in charge…

Day 5: Crafts at The Ernst house

IMG_1791 IMG_1793

While I enjoyed the use of the numerous power tools, Eva enjoyed all the new toys. She also enjoyed stealing them from her cousins, with the force – but, you know, cute force. We’ll work on that.

(More on that craft project in a later post)

Day 6: Gavin’s birthday


We had a great time celebrating Gavin’s first birthday with my BFF. Eva especially liked being helpful with his new farm.

Day 7: Morton Arboretum Day


Eva was not in the mood for portraits this day.


“Here mom, all these pretty leaves around me and I found the only brown one for you!” (Argh)

Day 8: I went to the dentist. It was about as fun as you would expect.

Day 9: Chicago Botanic Garden Day


Turns out Eva is a big fan of finding the largest patch of grass and just letting loose.


I can’t say I blame her.


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Killing time

So baby girl’s due date has come and gone. I have spent this whole pregnancy saying, “oh, I’m sure she’ll be late,” but I didn’t actually mean it. Don’t get me wrong, I expected this, but I didn’t really want this.

This last month, we’ve set up the nursery, we’ve deep cleaned the house, I’ve prepped the baby clothes, and the diapers and set up the bassinet. I got a pedicure.

And she didn’t come.

So, we changed the oil in the car, got new tires (didn’t really expect that one, heh), got the car washed, and installed the car seat. I painted frames and put up “art”.


I packed the hospital bag. I started on a mobile. I felted. I’ve batiked, for godssake.

No change whatsoever.

So today, I figured that the only thing she could possibly be waiting for is for me to get this bad haircut fixed. I figure that I’ve been a little uncomfortable in my hairdo since the last cut, though it’s not that bad, but still. Maybe, being a girl, she just knew that I didn’t want first baby/mommy photos with bad hair. so. I guess we’ll see how that works.

What I’m reading this week: Pinterest.

Egg rolls, fried fish and watermelon

So I haven’t had any cravings per se, but some things just really taste good these days. It’s just like I’ll be walking by and smell something and then I NEED IT NOW. It works for me.

Baby girl’s room. We have some work to do.

Otherwise, things are going well, pretty boring actually, which is good. I have plenty of time to focus on all the preparing-for-baby things that we’re not doing quite yet. Just to give you an idea, here is her room today:

Yeah. I have some grand plans for this space and, Oh Dear God, only six weekends left to make it happen. If you’re curious, have a peek at my baby board on pinterest.com and you can get an idea of some of the things I’ve got planned.

All the time that we’ve spent not working on getting ready, we’ve been out enjoying the beautiful summer. Last weekend we went fishing for the first time in ages, and it was my first trip lake fishing. Pretty fun. It helps that I was the only one to actually catch anything that day. (And by catch, let’s be serious. I noticed pulling on my line, and then Eric and his dad reeled it in and caught it in the net. I may have handed Larry the net. Maybe.)

Either way, here’s the prize catch in all his glory:

Preggo lady catches 20″ Walleye.

We took him back to the in-laws house and fried him up and he was tasty.

What I’m reading this week: Getting more ideas at Cheap & Chic Nursery.

Summer solstice! (or: Holy crap, it’s been a long time)

You know it’s been a while when the blogging site doesn’t even recognize you anymore. It’s like, “oh, we used to know a Stephanie… yeah, she just disappeared.”

By now you know that the intermittent/non-existent holiday blogging was brought about by being implanted with parasite/baby Cwik and that extreme tiredness that comes with the first trimester? Yeah, it’s hard to pull yourself out of that and back into, well, much of anything. Second trimester was better, but not by much.

We did do stuff though. We bought a condo! We moved! We saw the Hunger Games!

And now. The third trimester. The home stretch. The part where I FLIP OUT because we have not finished making room for this kid, let alone furnishing a room for her. I know we have time. I know we’ll get it together. Some times it hits harder than others though, like today, when I realized I could not get off the couch without breathing heavily because this kid is all up in my ribs. (Seriously baby, you really do have plenty of room, just schootch over so I can breathe, kthanks.)

BUT, I have been missing this, so I promise I will try to do better. Now, get outside and enjoy that longest day of the year. It’s all downhill from here.

What I’m reading: Duh. Being Pregnant.

Repeat 1000 times for wish

My craftiness has slowed down in the post holiday sit-on-the-couch-and-rub-your-tummy days, so while I could tell you about some of the projects I have half-finished, I’ll just show you something really old.

Well, not that old. It was actually one of the first crafty projects I did this summer after deciding that I needed more girl time. Not to say that all things crafty have to be girly, but in this case, I found a great group on meetup for crafty girls in Chicago and it happened to be girls only, so there.

Anyway, my first meetup session was to make a mobile with origami cranes. Intimidating. Seriously. Here I was, having knit a scarf for… someone? over a year ago, and I’m committing to making a mobile that I would actually hang in my home. Plus, it involved a trip to the scrapbooking aisle for paper, and that scrapbooking aisle is just scary. It’s like a cult. You can’t escape without a desire to punch heart-shaped holes in things.

I survived though. With some somewhat random paper choices. And here’s what I had ahead of me:

How to

Not bad, actually. The cranes were pretty easy to make, though after folding only nine of them I gave up for the night. My fingers were sore and I maybe chatted too much to concentrate. Maybe.

But, I returned to my project, folded the last three and hung them up. I’m pretty impressed with myself actually! It looks like a real mobile that someone actually made on purpose.

Completed mobile!

The part you can’t see is that it’s hanging from half an embroidery loop…

Now, would I have done some things differently? Yes. Will I ever make the traditional 1000 to get that wish? Pretty safe to say no, but you never know.

What I’m reading today: Natalie Dee

Holidaying is hard.


So I’m back. Yay! Survived those holidays. Well, most of them. New Year’s is coming up in mere days but we’ve already got our plans sorted so I’m not feeling any pressure there. Plus, I’m kind of tired. Kind of too tired to really care about a holiday. More interested in that giant fluffy chair that has a place nearby for tea and an outlet for the laptop.

Polish Christmas was a lot of fun. Turns out the in-laws do a not-entirely-traditional Christmas Eve dinner with some traditional Polish food: sauerkraut, pirogues, kasha, (with and without prunes)(as if I’d know the difference?) mushroom soup with mashed potatoes, and the traditional-to-any-family-gathering-but-not-necessarily-traditional polish sausage. I tell you mostly about the food, because it was mostly about the food. It was quite the production. Everything was tasty. All buttery, salty, high-carb goodness.

The highlight though was sharing the opłatki, a Christmas wafer of sorts, like a communion wafer, that you walk around with and share with the members of your family and share blessings… or you know, just be jolly smartasses with, whatever. And presents. Presents are always a highlight. Fun.

Work is quiet this week. It’s nice. It would be tragic but super efficient if I had actual work to complete while I was one of the only people here. All this nice quiet room to think. Instead I’ve spent a majority of my time organizing my office. I cleared my desk of all those pesky piles of paper, filled up an entire recycle bin of obsolete meeting notes and agendas and other bits of very-important-at-the-time reminders.

The rest of the folks still in the office (already back to the office?) seem to have the same aura about them. A kind of hazy, non-rush somewhat happier than the usual. It’s a little eerie, but then again- I have been watching a lot of Doctor Who lately.

So. I’m debating about taking tomorrow off, just to enjoy one last day in the fluffy chair. Now more than ever since I’ve just realized that the Doctor Who Christmas Special is still waiting for me on the DVR. It would be a shame to let him wait, don’t you think?

What I’m reading today: Bits and ephemera. And Twitter. (Which would be redundant, but the Library of Congress is saving all those tweets, you know.)